Familiarze yourself with your insurance policy before the storm to see what it covers

Posted at 10:08 PM, Sep 06, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-06 22:08:46-04

With Irma's path uncertain, now's the time to familiarize yourself with your insurance policy. Here’s what those numbers really mean and why what's not covered may surprise you.

The staff at the Swafford Insurance Agency says they've never experienced a day like today. Policy holders are calling from morning till night to reduce their hurricane deductible or increase coverage.

By late Tuesday most carriers stopped writing new business. Consumers for now are stuck with their current coverage. Now's the time to get familiar with your declarations page.

HURRICANE IRMA | Real-time tracking maps, Hurricane supply kit info & Hurricane Center

Hurricane Supply Kit Checklist | Things to know before the storm | Preparations for your pets | Power outage maps & resources | Know your evacuation zone | Price gouging: How to protect yourself and report it | Insurance protection: Video tape home inventory | Tampa Bay sandbag locations | Find a hurricane shelter near you | Hurricane Irma Emergency Phone Numbers

Dwelling coverage pertains to the actual structure of your home. Personal property coverage is anything that would fall out of your home if it was turned upside down.

Many of Irma’s victims will need loss of use coverage. The figure under loss of use covers anything from food to hotel rooms if a storm renders your home uninhabitable.

Pool owners may be surprised to learn the pool cage may not be covered by hurricane damage. Often carriers require hurricane coverage for these structures as an extra that must be added to the policy.

One of the most important figures on the declaration page is the hurricane deductible. On average the hurricane deductible is 2 percent of your home's coverage. So if your house is insured for $200,000 then your deductible equals $4000

You want to be sure of the amount that is not covered before you file a claim.

Once you file a claim you can't take it back and it could show up on your history that other carriers will see.